I spent several years cooking school lunches. I made chicken burgers, Chinese chicken with broccoli and cheese quesadillas. These chicken burgers were a favorite with the kids (at one time I was making over 300 burgers a week)! They are also a favorite in my house.
When I tell people that I write a food blog their first comment/question is almost always “I am so tired of making the same things every week for dinner. What do you make in your house?” These burgers are what I make for dinner almost every week. Also the Baked Meatballs and the Lemon Chicken (I promise I’ll post it next week!).
The second thing they always say is “No one in my house likes the same thing so I always end up cooking several different meals over the course of several hours!” I wish there was some magic bullet for getting our families to all eat the same things for dinner, but I haven’t found one yet. I guess some families make one meal and expect everyone to eat it (I have read Bringing up Bebe and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother). I have personally never found success with this, but if you have, you go girl!
I do aim for majority rule, making dishes that most of my family will eat. Keeping it simple if I have to make more than one meal. My daughter doesn’t actually eat the Chicken Burgers so she usually gets a plain grilled chicken cutlet with a little Adobo seasoning. I give her some carrots or cucumber for a vegetable. If I have some left over rice from Sunday night Chinese take out, I’ll heat that up for her too. Nothing fancy. I also try to offer options within the meal. For example, I make quesadillas a lot and I leave several bowls on the counter with different fillings (cheese, chicken, tomatoes, black beans, sliced jalapenos, scallions, etc.) and everyone makes their own quesadilla. I also make an udon noodle night. Same concept, big bowl of udon noodles, bowls of peas and broccoli, diced tofu and sautéed shrimp, soy sauce and chicken broth (I promise to post these too). My kids can make a bowl of soup or a bowl of noodles, with a vegetable and a protein (and I can have a little bit of everything!).
I’d love to hear what you make your families for dinner. Please keep me “Posted”!
Makes 14 burgers
1 small onion
2 – 10oz boxes mushrooms
2 tablespoons oil
Salt and pepper
2 pounds ground chicken or turkey
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1-2 teaspoons herb seasoning (I use 21 Blend from Trader Joes)*
1-2 teaspoons Adobo (I use pepper free)**
*If you use a pre-made seasoning blend, check to see if there is salt. If there is, don’t add too much additional salt. That’s why I only lightly add salt and pepper to the onion/mushroom mixture and not the meat itself (both seasoning blends that I use have salt).
**I really like Adobo seasoning and use it a lot with chicken. It is MSG free (Monosodium glutamate). Always check to make sure your foods (it is primarily found in seasonings, canned soups and vegetables) are MSG free. The FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mince the onion and mushrooms. This can be done by hand or in a food processor. In a large skillet, over medium heat add the oil. When hot, sauté the onions and mushrooms, with a bit of salt and pepper, until they have released their liquid and are reasonably dry. Remove from the mixture from the pan and cool to room temperature (sometimes I toss the bowl in the refrigerator to cool faster).
In a large bowl, mix the together the remaining ingredients. When the onion/mushroom mixture is cool, add this to the bowl as well. Make about 14 patties (I use a large round cookie cutter, line it with plastic wrap, and slide the meat in to make the patties).
Line a cookie sheet (or 2) with either a Silpat (this is one of my favorite kitchen tools) or parchment paper. Line up the patties and bake for about 20 minutes. They should be firm to the touch and the juices should run clear when they are fully cooked. You can always “sacrifice” one to check the doneness inside i.e. cut it in half (I eat several before they even make it to the dinner table, I promise it won’t go to waste!).
Serve with traditional (or non traditional toppings – I’ve been eating them with some raw jalapeno peppers!). Enjoy!